Toll House Semi-Sweet Morsels Celebrates 85th Anniversary

National Chocolate Chip Day: May 15

From the first chocolate chip cookie to decades of inspired chocolate baking, the Nestlé Toll House brand continues its tradition of baking up memories in kitchens across America

Every American has a chocolate chip cookie memory. The scene of children coming home from school to the scent of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies wafting from the oven is as ubiquitous as the chocolate chip cookie itself. This year, Nestlé Toll House is celebrating 85 years of the chocolate bit that dropped its way into the kitchens and memories of American families everywhere—the Nestlé Toll House Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsel.

Olympic Candy Kitchen, Goshen, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Nestlé Toll House story begins with chocolate chip cookie inventor Ruth Wakefield who ran the successful Toll House restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts. One day, while baking a batch of Butter Drop Do cookies, a favorite recipe dating back to colonial times, Wakefield broke a bar of Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate into tiny pieces and added them to the dough expecting to create a chocolate cookie.

Instead, the semi-sweet bits held their shape and softened to a delicate creamy texture. Wakefield’s Toll House Crunch Cookie recipe was published in a Boston newspaper and quickly became the trending cookie recipe everyone was baking.

“Ruth Wakefield’s unexpected discovery and invention of the chocolate chip cookie, the most popular cookie of all-time, is central to the tradition and heritage of the Nestlé Toll House brand,” says Al Multari, President of the Baking Division at Nestlé , based in Solon, Ohio. “A baking innovator from the start Nestlé Toll House products have inspired home bakers for 75 years and that’s just the beginning of its chocolate baking legacy.”

Realizing a way to make the Wakefield’s Toll House cookie recipe easier for bakers in 1939 Nestlé scored its semi-sweet chocolate bars into 160 right size pieces especially for Nestlé Toll House cookies. Shortly after, the familiar ready-to-use teardrop shaped morsels were introduced. Fast forward to 2024 and we still enjoy one of the most iconic foods of all time—the Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Morsel.

For 85 years, the Nestlé Toll House brand has led baking trends that millions of home bakers emulate in their own kitchens, according to a news release. From inventive recipes to new morsel flavors to the convenience of ready-to-bake cookie dough, it has never been easier to create and share the delicious taste of Nestlé Toll House products after the game, around the table, or as a midnight snack.

Rebecca Ruth Chocolates, Frankfort, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The famous recipe

Here’s the original recipe that’s still the gold standard of chocolate chip cookie recipes even though it’s been slightly tweaked over the years. Try it!

Original Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups (12-ounce package) NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1 cup chopped nuts (optional. If omitting, add 1 to 2 tbsp. of all-purpose flour.)

Rebecca Ruth Chocolates, Frankfort, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Step 2

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Step 3

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Worth Pondering…

Lou pushes a plate of cookies in front of us.

Chocolate pieces tease like jewels in sand.

Please, she says, have some!

I don’t want to be impolite, so I take five.

—Katherine Applegate